The main purpose of my company, Interactivité Vidéo et Systèmes (IVèS), is to build and operate interactive video value added services (IVS). We deliberately chose SIP as the basis of the interactive part of our services. I would like to give here a broader discussion about what value added services are and what technologies they need.
What are Value Added Services?
Value added services (VAS) are not necessarily marketing buzz words. They are predefined business models and processes implemented on an IT or telecommunication infrastructure. eBay is a value added service, Salesforce.com is another one, Amazon.com also. Newspapers with online subscription fees are also good examples. Their offerings have enough value in itself that customers are ready to pay for it.
They are opposed to what I call basic services. Those are multi-purpose tools that do not serve a business in particular, like E-mail, IM, Wikis, Blogs, telephone. They can either be offered for free or charged and they are not bound to any business process in particular.
And there is this so called Internet model that consists in setting up free services that capture a lot of audience then generate revenue streams by selling advertisement space. It allowed a surprising number of businesses and non-profit organizations to grow and have the venture capitalists interested in it. These type of companies range from the Web 2.0 kind(like You Tube, Daily Motion or NetVibes) to community services like Wikipedia. They are not easy to categorize. Some of them can potentially turn into value added services (like YouTube broadcasting content for TV companies). Some introduce innovative concepts (like location based services, tagging, social networking). Some of these are financed by wealthy investors. When such services are useful or attractive to users, they add value to the Internet as a whole, ultimately justifying the fees paid for Internet access that finance the Network evolution and deployment.
We believe at IVèS that there is a confluence of factors that will make a new wave of interactive Value Added Services emerge: The high speed Internet connectivity access is spreading, the mobile data networks are maturing, the technology is already here and oil prices are making travel more expensive.